Dept. of Health Services: Office of Children’s Mental Health focuses on eliminating stigma

Office of Children’s Mental Health Director Linda Hall today announces the publication of a new fact sheet about supporting youth by eliminating stigma and what our communities, schools, and providers can do to make a difference.

Stigma creates barriers for children to obtain timely and appropriate mental health care. Children are stigmatized when they are stereotyped, prejudiced, and discriminated against for struggling with mental health challenges.

Children, adolescents, and young adults who believe the stigma messages they hear are at risk for a lower quality of life. They may have difficulty asking for help, refuse treatment, discontinue medication, and reduce their social interactions. Experiencing shame about their mental health challenges make symptoms even worse.

What We Can Do

  • Parents can educate themselves and their children about mental health disorders, their symptoms, and the effectiveness of treatment. They can share stories of people with mental health challenges and connect with people who live with mental illness.
  • Schools can foster students’ sense of belonging by improving staff and student mental health literacy to eliminate use of stereotypical language that promotes stigma.
  • Policymakers can increase mental health access for children by identifying gaps in compliance with mental health parity laws.

See the complete fact sheet 

See previous fact sheets